Ariel Helwani is probably one of the greatest sports journalists of all time. Since he started reporting professionally on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in 2006, he has remained prominent in the arena of martial arts. Since he joined ESPN in May 2018 to continue his coverage of the MMA world, Ariel Helwani has built a phenomenal career, even during some controversial periods along the way. He is passionate about his work, which is his main drive for success and has been described as the Howard Cosell of MMA.
Ariel Helwani’s Bio
Ariel was born on July 8, 1982, in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and grew up in a Jewish family. He attended both Akiva School and Herzilah High School. His mother is Lebanese, while his father is Egyptian.
He is very well versed in sports journalism, having studied at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, where he graduated in 2004, and turned to this field professionally in 2006, and has been covering mixed martial arts ever since. He became known through his work on MMAFighting.com. He hosted their interview show, the MMA Hour, as well as the commentary segment, MMA Beat on YouTube, and other programs before and after the event. Ariel also worked for Fox Sports 1 as an MMA insider and co-host of the Sirius XM radio show Fight Club.
He has had to deal with a number of controversies in his coverage of the martial arts. For example, he was banned from all UFC (United Fighting Championships) events for life, and on June 4, 2016, he and two other colleagues were stripped of his press card for reporting on Brock Lesnar’s return to UFC 200 prior to the announcement. The offense for which he was suspended was considered a breach of normal practice. However, the ban was lifted two days later.
The MMA journalist joined ESPN in June 2018, where he will report on the sport on various platforms, host a weekly MMA show and continue his podcast “The Ariel Helwani Show”. Ariel will also co-host a 30-minute show on ESPN+ with former UFC and current Bellator fighter Chael Sonnen, entitled Ariel and the Bad Guy. While Chael, who is still an active fighter, will provide a unique insight into many of the issues they will discuss, Ariel, who believes that you don’t have to be a professional fighter to excel in sports journalism, especially since it involves MMA, will balance the show by using his time-honored style of reporting and news coverage with top-notch interviews.
Wife – Jaclyn Stein
The MMA choice reporter is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Jaclyn Stein. The charming duo met in the seventh grade in 1994 and married in 2008.
Jaclyn, who comes from Montreal, Quebec, was born on March 28, 1982, the daughter of Anize and Barry Stein. She graduated from Herzilah High School in Montreal in 1999 and earned a degree in Management from McGill University in 2004. During her studies, she hosted her first cancer charity event, a course that grew out of her desire to introduce college students to cancer awareness and research. Together with her husband, she has supported local fund-raising and cancer awareness campaigns.
Jaclyn is also a jewelry designer and director of ANIZE jewelry, a design company she runs with her sister Joanna and her mother Anize. She studied jewelry design at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology and combines her experience as an art teacher, artist, sculptor, and painter to create extraordinary designs for her brand, often inspired by nature (ocean, dewdrops, moon). In addition to her artistic acumen, she speaks fluent French, English, and Hebrew.
Ariel Helwani lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and three children, two boys and a girl.
Ariel Helwani’s Height and Other Facts
Ariel Helwani is with 1,80 m (5 ft 11 in) a little bit above the average height
He is one of the most recognized faces in the fight news journalism industry and is praised for knowing his onions well when it comes to MMA coverage.
Ariel has a handful of awards to his credit, including seven consecutive MMA Journalist of the Year Awards (2010 to 2016), the 2014 Journalist of the Year at the Awakening WMMA Awards and the FIGHT! Power 20 of the magazine in 2011.
He is the interim president of the MMA Journalist Association.
During his time in the MMA Hour, he had the privilege of interviewing some of the top names in the sport such as Michael Bisping, Frankie Edgar, and Rampage Jackson.
He is often praised for doing sports journalism in an unusual way and daring to ask interview questions that others shy away from.